Sunday, 27 September 2009

Lefkas Taverna

Every time I go to a Greek restaurant it brings back memories of the amazing food we ate in Greece. Our most memorable meals took place during our stay on the island of Paros (see the picture below) - beautiful salads with fresh feta, cucumber & olives, and a great selection of simply cooked fresh seafood. I got particularly hooked on the delicious grilled cuttlefish. When you've got great, fresh produce, why mess with it?

Which leads me to Lefkas Taverna at West End. Lefkas is a place that I had wanted to visit for years. We went there on a Friday night and the place was pretty much full. There were tables outside on the footpath, tables inside and a private room enjoyed by a big group having a fun night.

Our table was just inside the door. The room wasn't air conditioned, so it was a bit warm, but ok. Menus were brought out pretty quickly by a friendly waitress. The menu runs the gamut of traditional Greek food - mezes, seafood, grills and a good vegetarian section.

For starters we ordered some dolmathes ($5.90), eggplant dip ($7.90), homous ($7.90) and grilled haloumi cheese ($6.90). This selection turned out to be a great way to start the night. The two dips were served with a good amount of pita bread, which had been cut into manageable pieces. Out of the two dips, I thought the eggplant was better, but only by a nose. The homous had plenty of garlic in it, and was obviously fresh.

The dolmathes (vine leaves stuffed with rice) had been covered with a generous drizzle of tzatziki (cucumber & yoghurt dip), and the combination was terrific. There was so much tatziki that it basically became a third dip for the table. As far as I'm concerned, you can never have too many Greek dips on the table. I enjoyed the dolmathes, without finding them outstanding.

The final entree was the haloumi. There were good thick slices of haloumi, served with some lettuce and lemon. The haloumi was excellent, and had been perfectly cooked without drying out the cheese. The squeaky sound of haloumi against my teeth just has to be one of the best food experiences anywhere in the world.

We didn't manage to finish all the dips, but we got close. In the gap between entrees and our mains we couldn't help to be amazed by the amount of takeaways flying out the door. Not only the volume, but the enormous servings as well. If you live near West End, next time you can't be bothered cooking, head along to Lefkas and try out their great range of yiros and souvlakis.

After a comfortable break, our mains arrived. Again we had a good selection from the pretty large menu. I ordered a plate of pork yiros ($17.90). This turned out to be a plate which on one side was a huge pile of shaved pork pieces, and the other side was a green salad. The pork also came with a good serving of tzatziki. Although it really was a mammoth pile of meat, it was so delicious that I just couldn't stop eating. I especially enjoyed the crunchier bits of pork, that had seen more of the grill.

Other meals on the table were lamb souvlaki (skewered lamb with rice or Greek salad - $17.90), spanakopita (spinach & feta pastry with salad - $16.90) and stuffed capsicum ($13.90). Again, each of the meals were very generous portions. I didn't try any, but the spanakopita looked delicious. So did the stuffed capsicum (we'd ordered the vegetarian version). It was presented as a whole red capsicum, with a little lid cut in the top of it. The capsicum was stuffed with rice, dill, garlic, onions and shallots. The rice had been cooked beautifully, and made for a lovely, aromatic stuffing for the bright red capsicum.

As all the meals were pretty reasonably priced, we also ordered a small Greek salad for the table ($9.90). That turned out to be completely unnecessary, given the amount of food that came out. As unnecessary as it was, it was a winner. Tangy olives, crunchy cucumber and tart, crumbly feta is exactly what I want to be eating in a salad on a warm Brisbane night.

Given the big servings, none of us even contemplated dessert, as good as they sounded.

I'd have to say that the food at Lefkas Taverna is the best Greek food I've eaten in Brisbane. It was all fresh & tasty and came out in huge portions. Not only was the food good, but prices are extremely reasonable.

Service during the night was very friendly. Actually, I hardly noticed the service at all, which is always a good sign of a restaurant which is smoothly run.

As I mentioned earlier, there are loads of take away options as well. The prices on the take aways are ridiculously cheap. There are also pre-made dips and desserts in the fridge in the main room in case you want to take any of this lovely food home with you.

Finally, Lefkas is byo. There's a bottle shop next door, so you'll have no excuse to go thirsty as you munch on a selection of your Greek favourites.

What does all this mean? Excellent, tasty, fresh Greek food at low prices. If only there were more restaurants like this in Brisbane.

food bling ratings
Food - Great
Service - Great
Ambience - Casual, fairly basic suburban restaurant interior
Vegetarian - Great
Wine - BYO
Value for Money - Top Shelf

Lefkas Taverna
170 Hardgrave Road
West End 4101
P - 07 3844 1163

Lefkas Taverna on Urbanspoon


Sarah said...

Mmmm thanks for the review- Greek food! Yum! I'd heard that West End has both good and dodgy Greek restaurants, so it's nice to have a reliable review. I'm so hungry after reading that...

littlej said...

lefkas is a great place to go with a large group. so delicious and cheap!

Gastronomy Gal said...

Sounds Great! I will have to check it out. I have been after some good Greek Food in Brizzy so will have to try Lefkas

Vanessa Jackman (Street+Style = StreetStyle) said...

Ooooo this looks delicious- I particularly like the sound of the crunchy pork bits- yum! We went to a (fairly) new Beruit street food restaurant in London yesterday, Yalla Yalla, and it was brilliant. Very fresh and wonderful, zingy flavours- much like this looks

food bling, Brisbane said...

Delicious, cheap and BYO - ticks all the boxes!

food bling, Brisbane said...

Vanessa you're making me jealous. I miss all those great Middle Eastern restaurants in London - we used to go to plenty on Edgeware Road. Somehow I always seemed to get plucked from the crowd to be the belly dancer's "assistant"